Islamic radicals attacked 200 Christians at a Catholic mass in Indonesia, including children, and forced a priest to flee the church after he was threatened by the mob who harassed him as he read the Bible during a memorial service.
AsiaNews reported on Wednesday that the incident occurred earlier this week at the church of St. Peter Purwosari, near Surakarta in Central Java, where 200 Christians had gathered to celebrate mass 1,000 days after the death of one of their loved ones.
Usually such commemorations are held at the house of a family member, but this time village elders gave permission for the gathering to take place at a public facility, due to the large number of people. Several non-Catholics, including the village chief, were also in attendance.
The two Muslim attackers who entered the building started to heckle and insult the priest after the first reading of the Bible, and although they were removed by police, they came back with a larger group of people and shut down the mass.
"Just after communion they began to intimidate those present, including children, demanding that the mass be interrupted. Eventually the priest, Fr. Adrianus Sulistiyono, was forced to flee along with his assistant," one of the Catholic witnesses said.
The potential affiliation of the attackers to any known terror groups was not made immediately clear.